Landlords set up holding companies to swerve tax increases introduced in 2016
Buy-to-let housing firms were the second most common type of company set up in 2020, with only online shopping firms beating them to the top spot
Rental growth hit 4.1% in December - the highest level in four and a half years
A record number of buy-to-let landlords set up holding companies for their properties last year, in a bid to swerve higher taxes.
There were 41,700 new companies were formed in 2020 - an increase of 23 per cent on 2019, according to estate agent Hampton International.
Buy-to-let incorporations were the second most common type of company founded in 2020, second only to firms selling goods online or by mail order.
More companies were set up to hold buy-to-let properties between the beginning of 2016 and the end of 2020 than in the preceding 50 years combined.
There are now a total of 228,743 buy-to-let companies up and running, an all-time record.
Of the new holding companies set up last year, 34 per cent were based in London.